Saturday, 28 July 2012

Malaga up for sale as Cazorla deal moves closer

In the most recent news regarding Arsenal's attempts to sign Spanish international Santi Cazorla is that his club is apparently now up for sale.

Spanish media out AS reported in the last few hours that the owner of Malaga, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani has now entered negotiations with an Albanian investment group over the sale of the club. The Sheikh is said to have lost interest in the Malaga project after the failure to produce a new TV deal in La Liga, and Cazorla's desire to leave the club has convinced him to sell the club.

The Albanian investment group is thought to not be able to convince Cazorla to stay, and a bid between 20-25 million euros may be enough to secure his services.

This breaking news follows the earlier updates in the Sunday editions of the British press. The Guardian reported that we have agreed personal terms with the midfielder, and have submitted an official £16 million bid for the 27 year old, who only signed for Malaga for £15 million pounds last summer.

Arsenal had been interested in the diminutive playmaker last year, but had switched attentions to Juan Mata but ended up losing out on deals for both players. Wenger has followed the Spanish international for a number of years, and last week called him "a great player".

The Guardian went on to reveal that Arsenal "want to have both Cazorla and Sahin available for their final pre-season friendly away to Köln on 12 August."
This news was backed up by the Daily Mail which said that we "expect to complete the club record £15million transfer of Santi Cazorla by Tuesday."

Cazorla would be an excellent coup for the club if we do retain his services next season. The former Villarreal man already has 46 caps for Spain - in recent years filling in a central role as Xavi's understudy - and over the last few seasons has become one of the best players outside of the top 2 cluds in La Liga.

The 5 ft 6 inch midfielder can operate on either flank or centrally and is noted for being nearly totally ambidextrous. He has superb technique and excellent vision, illustrated by his 5 assists last season. He also has an eye for goal and ended last season with 9 goals for Malaga, helping them to 4th in the league. The 27 year old also has helped Spain to win 2 European Championships, and only missed out on a place in the World Cup squad due to injury.

His transfer to North London is becoming increasingly likely, lets hope it works out.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Arsenal Target New Attacking Midfielder - Ganso

Since Fabregas left Arsenal for Barcelona in August last year, there has been a gap of quality in the Arsenal side. A creative hub of the team. The player that has an eye for the pass like no other, and who churns out assists and chances in equal measure.

Perhaps the 49 assists that Fabregas managed in the Premier League over his final 4 seasons at the club will never be properly replaced. But we certainly need someone to try and do more.

Most recently the name being circulated is that of Paulo Henrique or simply "Ganso" of both Santos and Brazil. The tall, languid play-maker has grown up alongside fellow wonderkid Neymar but has fallen out of the lime light a little in the last year due to injury problems and loss of form. Yet, from time to time, he still gives glimpses of the immense talent he has.

The possible arrival of Ganso was made aware at first via WeAreTheNorthBank and then repeated this evening by the Daily Mail.

Both sources has stated that Arsenal have registered an interest in the attacking midfielder, and are set to make a move in the coming days. Ganso is thought to have played his last game in Brazil, after the company that partly owns his has stated that he "will not play for Santos again", and Arsenal have leaped to the front of the queue to sign the player, who has already earned 8 full international caps for Brazil.

Any transfer is set to be estimated at £15-25million which will make it one of the biggest in Arsenal's history. Yet the deal is by no means done, with many other clubs set to battle for his signature. Previously Italy has been mooted as his most likely destination, with his relaxed game-play very suited to the Serie A style of football instead of the combative English game.

The 22 year old, who has expressed a desire to play in Europe, is set to play a part in Brazil's 2012 Olympic campaign where Arsenal scouts will be watching him closely. He is not solely an elegant passer though, he definitely has an eye for goal which has seen him score 35 goals in his 157 appearances for Santos.

Comparisons have been made in playing style to his compatriot Kaka, although Neymar, his current teammate at both club and international level has even compared him to a "left footed Zidane". Perhaps an illustration of his quality as a player is best taken from the BBC's South American football expert Tim Vickery who says that 'This is a player who is strong in possession, with the vision to see the killer pass and the technique to play it."

It is very strong praise for someone so young, but the loss of form and injury problems that have plagued Ganso for the past year have made him realise the battle he has to properly make it as the wonderful player that he can be. The recent signs show a resilience in Ganso that should serve him well when he comes to Europe, whether at Arsenal or not.